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‘DNA’ Review – A Bold New Collection at Clarendon Fine Art


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Staff writer Marios Falekos reviews “DNA”, a bold new collection by Dan Pearce which delights with its endless experimentation. 

Dan Pearce has caused quite a stir in the art world during the past decade. His vibrant and innovative art has been noticed by A-listers such as Idris Elba and 50 Cent, and even led to him being named “one of the UK’s most collectable, emerging artists” by Shortlist. His newest collection, “DNA”, was exhibited at Clarendon Fine Art in Covent Garden last Thursday and is currently being taken on tour to Leeds and Bournemouth.

The collection felt fresh and inspired. It is comprised of sculptures and paintings which were made using miscellaneous innovative techniques and materials, from spray paint and neon lights to 3D printing and screen-printing. Most pieces depicted pop culture icons against a background of bright colours, doodles, and graffiti which are characteristic of the artist’s unique vision. These include a winged Kate Moss lit up with neon lights, Madonna and Marilyn Monroe encased within Chanel No. 5 bottles, and 3D side profiles of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II covered in graffiti and band stickers. I was most impressed and intrigued by a piece called “Dali’s hands”, which was made up entirely of 3D hand gestures onto which an image of Salvador Dali was spray painted. A sculpture of a gun whose bullet transforms into a heart also caught my eye. I then realised it was part of a series of pieces depicting graffitied guns that promoted the message: make love, not war.

Credit: Cult Media Collective.

In a recent interview with Roar the artist said that, when it comes to his craft, experimenting is really important to him. So much so that his recent work felt more like an “engineering project”. His passion for experimenting came through with this collection with pieces such as “Jay York” and “London” capturing the very essence of experimentation and his melding of art with engineering. The former depicts a bird’s eye view of Manhattan with Jay Z painted on top, while the latter depicts London with an outline of Queen Elizabeth II covered in a neon-coloured English flag lying on top. Although they appear flat from afar, upon closer look the pieces come to life with the two cities being covered in 3D roads and buildings. Tactile pieces like these are very prominent in the collection and viewers need to spend time with each of and every one in order to truly appreciate and understand them. “Pixelated Frieda” and “Pixelated Kate” are prime examples of this, as only by looking at them up close can one see how ‘unconventionally’ these two portraits were created.

One word can never be used to describe Dan Pearce and that is “ordinary”. His work is bold and boundary-pushing in a way that feels modern and necessary. “DNA” had not a single piece that felt dull or repetitive; each one was in some way unconventional and intriguing mostly due to Pearce’s masterful manipulation of texture and colour. The materials and techniques he has used challenge our traditional definition of art and give us a glimpse into what its future looks like.

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